Can Switching Brands Help Your Favorite Team Win the Big Game?

Eric Hamerman, Columbia University, USA
Gita Johar, Columbia University, USA
Existing psychology literature suggests that when three pre-requisites are met (priority, consistency, and exclusivity), individuals are likely to perceive the illusion that they can control outside events, such as professional ballgames. This paper demonstrates that individuals regularly deploy superstition as a purchase strategy in response to this illusion of control. Three experiments manipulate these pre-requisites of illusory control, finding that superstitious behavior occurs even as consumers 1) agree that the linkage between their purchasing behavior and the outcome of the event is spurious, and 2) report that the event outcome is unlikely to influence their choice.
[ to cite ]:
Eric Hamerman and Gita Johar (2009) ,"Can Switching Brands Help Your Favorite Team Win the Big Game?", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 31-35.